North Central Washington shortlisted for Rural Tourism Support program

 Wednesday, June 22, 2022 


In North Central Washington, four counties will take part in the impending Rural Tourism Support program introduced by State of Washington Tourism. The North Central Washington Economic Development District will provide as the guide for Chelan’s tourism stakeholders along with Grant County, Douglas and Okanogan. The region was selected by a panel of industry veterans and experts as the second destination for the RTS program after going through a competitive process with state’s other regions.

The RTS program was launched in 2021, as an important pillar of the destination development strategy of SWT and acts as a key resource for communities which remained underserved. The applicants of the program must recognize tourism as an economic development strategy and aim to work with regional partners as a visitor destination collaboratively.

For communities across the state, the RTS program works as a model, struggling for more sustainable growth in tourism. To destination development, the program executes a community tourism approach. It’s facilitated by Kristin Dahl, founder of Crosscurrent Collective and a sustainable-tourism expert. A committee of local stakeholders decides on the main action items, comprising a dream of 10-years for the evolution of the destination and an improved understanding of how regional, national and global travel trends are relevant locally, with the objective of developing the quality of place for visitors as well as locals.

After six to eight months, upon successful conclusion of the program, tourism stakeholders are requested to apply for financial help from SWT.

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